The Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band was born in 2003 when a group of ad hoc musicians played together with Bread and Puppet Theater in a march opposing the beginning of the Iraq war.
Trudi and John are the founding members still with the band.
The first HONK! Festival was dreamed up and organized in 2006 by five members of SLBB.
The band has supported many progressive causes including:
SEIU fight for 15 rallies.
The Women’s March
The Dyke March and Pride Paradei
The Climate March in NYC
In the past we have performed festivals such as:
The Honk Festival
Pronk (Providence, RI)
HonkTx (Austin TX)
Honk Fest West (Seattle)
Sbandata (Rome, Italy)
Les Fanfaronnades de Trentemoult (Nantes, France)
Crash Detroit (Detroit, MI)Honk NYC (New York, NY)
We have an extensive book with scores and links to us or others playing our songs at secondlinebrassband.org/book.
The Book is divided into 4 sections:
Developing Arrangements: songs that are in the works
The Ready List: songs that we can do at a gig without working on beforehand.
The Dusty List: songs that we know but need to run through before performing.
The Vault: songs that we used to play, songs that we tried but that didn’t click.
New members should focus on the songs on the Ready List.
Rehearsals are arranged weekly by the Rehearsal Coordinators.
Rehearsal begins at 7:00 sharp every Tuesday night.
They are held at CALA at 1060 Broadway, Somerville, MA.
We expect rehearsal to be your priority on Tuesday evenings.
During COVID times we try to rehearse outside when possible but otherwise inside the building.
The Rehearsal Coordinators set up a gig for each rehearsal (usually several in advance) in the Gig-O-Matic.
Rehearsal Coordinators compile a setlist that can be found on the Gigo.
Band members indicate in the Gig-O if they are coming.
Once a month we take part of a practice for section breakouts.
Each gig has:
A gig coordinator (logistics, communications, getting enough players)
A gig leader (set list, leading the music)
a parade leader (when to stay and when to go)
Our policy is to take a gig only if we can adequately cover all the sections of the band. As a rule we do not take gigs if we can’t represent the band in its best light.
A couple of guidelines while playing:
The gig leader’s word is the final word. Do not second-guess or argue with the gig leader.
Pay attention to the leader.
Stay close together. We have a tendency to drift apart especially when parading.
Everyone is encouraged but not required to lead.
There are 2 email lists that you will be invited to (Google groups):
Secondlinebrassband@gmail.com for essential band communications. This is required.
Secondlinebrassbandfirstname.lastname@example.org for cool stuff the band might want to know about. This is optional.
Make sure when responding to email that when hitting “reply to all” that it is essential that the whole group hear your response. Otherwise just reply to the individual sender.
The Gigo is how we manage our schedule.
It is essential that you keep the Gigo up-to-date so that we know who and what instruments we have available for a gig or practice.
We use the GroupMe app to do last minute communications..
The band is paid for some of our activist gigs and we do some commercial gigs to help with our expenses.
The money we collect is put into the band coffers and used for band expenses such as:
Practice space rent.
Stickers, and stuff
In the past, the band made at least one trip a year to a festival that may be in the US or overseas. The cost of this travel is covered by the band for any active member, according to need.
Financial support for travel is provided anonymously and without any request for justification or demonstration of need.
SLBB has non-profit status under the fiscal sponsorship of Great Small Works, a theater company John and Trudi belong to. As such we are not permitted to support political candidates.
There are many non-musical tasks that members help with.
Contributing to these tasks is very helpful for the band.
Check the How We Work area of the website for a list of these rolls
It is by no means required to step into one of these roles, but you are more than welcome if it works for you.
Issue Resolution Committee
The IRC is composed of several of our band members who are elected at large and change on an annual basis. Its role is to serve as a safe, confidential place for any of us to bring issues of concern: personal, interpersonal, or involving the group as a whole.
The IRC may offer advice, speak to involved parties, or bring problems before the full band at the monthly meeting.
The members of the IRC also run the monthly meetings.
The current members of the committee are: Laura, John, EJ
There are members of the band who, for various reasons, have stepped back from and switched their status on the Gigo to “occasional”.
They don’t regularly show up on the roster but if available may “magically” appear on the list and at a gig or practice.
After the first practice of each month we hold a meeting to: work on the issues that inevitably come up for a large group such as:
Policy regarding gigs and mission
Communication between ourselves and others.
The IRC organizes and runs the meetings.
You are asked to be respectful of fellow bandmates; listen, raise your hand to speak.
If you have an issue to be addressed, let an IRC member know and they will put it on the agenda.
Our colors are: black/white and especially red (not orange, maroon, mauve, purple, pink),
You should be attired such that, even without an instrument, you are obviously a member of the band.
There are no required specifics but bling and flare are very much encouraged.